Petition Seeking Arrest of NBC's David Gregory Reaches 11,000 Signatures
A White House petition seeking the arrest of NBC’s David Gregory has attracted more than 11,000 signatures as of Thursday. Gregory is under investigation by Washington D.C. police for displaying what appeared to be a 30-bullet gun clip during an interview with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre on Sunday's Meet The Press.
“David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person,” reads the petition. “We the People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on Meet The Press."
The petition’s language echoes the sentiment made by several gun rights activists, who have argued it would be hypocritical if Gregory did not pay the price for brandishing the clip just because he is a member of the media.
Gregory used the object to challenge LaPierre on the necessity of high-capacity clips in the wake of the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
"Now isn't it possible that, if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, 'Well, you could only have a magazine that carries five bullets or 10 bullets,' isn't it just possible that we can reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?" Gregory said on Meet the Press while holding the clip.
Appearing on CNN on Thursday, NRA president David Keen came to Gregory’s defense, calling the investigation “silly.”
“I’m not a vindictive guy who wants to go after David Gregory,” he said. “I really think what David Gregory did while he was inadvertently flouting the law was illustrating in a very graphic way, perhaps not intentionally, but in a graphic way just how silly some of these laws are.”
The D.C. code in question states “no person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term 'large capacity ammunition feeding device' means a magazine, among other devices."
Possessing such a clip in D.C. is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The petition seeking Gregory’s arrest was posted on the White House’s We the People site, which allows users to create a petition which will get official response if it obtains enough signatures. This petition needs about 14,000 more in order to elicit a response.
It is unclear if NBC received clearance to show the ammunition clip on air. TMZ reported the network got permission from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as a D.C. police official. But The Washington Post reported NBC asked permission from D.C. police, which denied the request.
NBC has declined to comment.
Watch the interview that ignited the debate, as well as video of Keen’s appearance on CNN below.